Txt Msg Transcripts – Vol. 1

I recently decided that because sometimes I say things very relevant to my life in text message conversations, that I would start a mini series of entries that takes good stuff from them. Mostly for the sake of being able to permanently get down parts of myself that I explain. This is the first one, from a conversation explaining my current status in life.

Note – I will always only take things I said for my personal blog uses, never anything that was texted to me from someone else.

Talking about being caught in a vicious cycle of climbing out of my hole and slipping back into a small rut: and how I hate sleeping because when I wake up, I reset into feeling all the bad weight I’m carrying (thus continually staying up later and later):

“Long text incoming. It is most definitely a vicious cycle. I haven’t been as impacted by it as I am now in a long time. It all goes back a few years, a saga of which I’ve talked about plenty. When I had my break up, I retreated to my home for a period to spend some time being nothing but broken and recovering; a period of time in which I was effectively a useless human being making no contributions to my surroundings. the time came when I had recovered enough to actually restart my life. I got re-enrolled [in school], started looking for work, reconnected with as many people as would have me, mostly conquered my newly developed anxiety and so on. Got a job for a while and that was the best I had been in years, was even part of normal hours, waking up at 8 everyday, rarely able to stay up past 1, but then that job wasn’t where I needed to be so I left, and since have not had luck getting more than a few interviews. Thus slowing my plans of moving out, finishing school and moving to California in January. As well as making it hard to financially sustain a social life (as this all colluded with my parents current financial situation developing). More than anything, it kept me in this place I had sought refuge [my house]; physically and habitually. So I was already battling the usual struggles, but on top of that I was in the place that made it easy for previous feelings to return to me, which as evident from the past 2 weeks didn’t take much leverage to gain influence on my life again. Essentially, without something to occupy my time and also get me moving on from here, I don’t know if I can conquer the cycle.”

“I know these things, but it is good to hear it too. I just need to tread water long enough to get out of where I’m at; the one “small” aspect couldn’t be more prevalent these days. I feel my primary personal affliction right now is that I’m nearly 25 years old and am feeling barred from the rest of the world because I’m trapped at home with no real responsibility and no way to be independent, and in the meantime these little 5 lb. weights keep getting attached to me as I’m trying to stay afloat, which manifests in the form of anxiety. So each day that goes on, even if the weight doesn’t increase, it feels like it has. So I sleep and wake up feeling more anxiety than the previous day, despite probably having spent most my energy the previous day conquering what anxiety I had. Eventually I get to the point where I get nothing done. I quit applying to jobs because I feel defeated, I quit trying to sort out school because I feel like neglecting it, I don’t work on my film project because I don’t feel inspired, I ditch plans I had because I feel like wallowing alone, I even avoid contact with the people I live with [my parents] because I feel shame. Then there are the more sociological elements, such as most of my closest friends not living in the same state. Half that do, still live far enough away to make it hard to come see me and I don’t always have money for gas. Furthermore, almost all of them have jobs and lead ‘adult’ lives so I feel like I’m some child who didn’t grow and develop while everyone else moved on like we were all supposed to. It is kinda funny how I envy them [because I can’t afford to have a life], yet they envy part of me for actually having all this free time to relax and enjoy as much life as I want.”

Assorted

It is a good time to write something, considering I’m feeling particularly empty right now. There’s a reason for that, which I’ll get to in a moment. My goal here is to churn out a few paragraphs, with each one covering entirely different territory. Just littering a small assortment of thoughts on the table, maybe you’ll like some of my wares.

I just completed rewatching HBO and David Simon’s (as well as Ed Burns) ‘The Wire’ — the critically acclaimed masterpiece, and likely the greatest piece of TV yet created. I remember the first time I watched it, I had heard all this talk (read: hype) about how it was the greatest show ever– from sources that I consider credible and respected, to those whose tastes I didn’t much regard to complete strangers. Anytime anything gets “best ever” hype, I’m immediately put off by it, anytime something gets hype from every possible corner of the Earth, then it will pretty much take Jesus’ second coming to sway me into its favors, and even brilliance takes me a while to overcome. This isn’t because I don’t want to like something great, but because the billing is so long it gives it a value that is impossible to amount to– kind of like the National Debt. With that said, it took me about the first episode to have the rug pulled under my feet and get swept under it. From that point on, I knew I was watching something that is a masterpiece on the same level that we call works of DaVinci or Michaelangelo masterpieces. Something that is so brilliantly executed, has an intricate plot that isn’t a labyrinth to follow, characters who stick with you even when you’re far removed from the show and hits so many huge nerves on society and reality– it’s relevant and entertaining. Maybe one day I’ll write some more on The Wire, but I wouldn’t say what hasn’t already been said countless times before by many who can say it better than myself, but the point is, it is the best example of the Television medium being used to its full potential. I feel utterly empty now that I’ve finished on my second time around. I think I even feel more depleted than the first time, and the first time was a catalyst that ultimately led me to quit school in my last semester. Frankly, I feel so many things as a result of this 5 season journey, and most of all, I’m sitting here right now thinking to myself the all these characters are out there in Baltimore right now just continuing the saga of their lives, their bodies splitting their cells for their short stay on earth and existence just barreling on like it always does (which hits more on a Six Feet Under level). I don’t mean to nuthug on HBO or The Wire anymore, but I think the point here is that very very rarely does a film, even a great one, leave me feeling so much emptiness at its end. I love television. If I had an ultimate dream, it wouldn’t be to write and direct movies (which is high on the list), it’d be to create and produce a television series for HBO.

Sorry, that paragraph was really long, but I am trying to hold to my hopping paragraphs promise.

The last week and a half has been an emotional oddity. Yesterday I texted my friend my favorite quote from Minority Report, “dig up the past, all you get is dirty.”  It is true though. Sometimes the past digs itself up, though, and like a horror movie, the arm of the undead reaches out from the ground and sucks me in the void. When that happens, I panic. When I panic, I do stupid things. I did something stupid. In a way, you could say I channeled the dead (not literally, if somehow that wasn’t clear enough). I had a conversation with a person that I’m effectively dead to, thus they have to be dead to me, or else there would be too much pain of loss. I was thinking a lot about this conversation, if you can call about 7-8 exchanges of text on Skype a conversation. You (“the dead”) had said something about things (in the past) going wrong, or knowing that you never will know what went wrong. I don’t want to look it up, because that is digging up the past, nor do I want to misconstrue what was said, I just remember what struck me, though. I am pretty sure it was general like that, but in my head, I thought about it and wondered if you really used to wonder what you did wrong. If know you, and even if we don’t exist to each other anymore, it will be a long long time before I can say I don’t know you, then I know that you felt this confounding and bewildering thought before. It makes me sad, because if I could ever get anything across to you, it wouldn’t be how much I loved you, how much you still mean to me, in some weird distant satellite orbiting the Earth kind of way, or how much I often worry about you and hope you’re just doing well– or any of these things. I would just want you to know that there is no question of what did you do wrong. It makes me sad because life is the biggest paradox. It makes less sense than quantum physics, because I can assure you with my entire being, that especially in our last act, you did every possible thing you could have done right. That’s all there is to it, and the only thoughts and feeling on that it is safe to let out. For now, I’m going to pat down the now reburied past unless it comes seeking me out.

I’m listening to an afrobeat song recorded in 1975 right now– Expensive Shit by Fela Kuti and it has got me thinking about a lot of songs I have stumbled upon over the years. I think the best example is that Vanderbilt radio station Robert is obsessed with. Anyone who knows me a little bit knows I hate the radio and if I know you well enough and you listen to the radio, I will chastise you until we are both raw in the loins from it, but this kid always insists on his radio station, especially late at night in the summer, because that is when they let people DJ who play stuff from the farthest reaches of the Earth and time. I gotta admit, I love listening to that station at that time, you got me, Robert. Some of that stuff is the most bizarre and disconcerting stuff I’ve ever heard, to plain bad, to really cool, but more than anything I just think to myself,  “People actually recorded this?.. In a studio somewhere?..  At some point in time? What?” There is a certain feeling connected to this, and it is likely fueled by the fact that I always listen to these things at these weird hours, 1 AM, 2:13 AM, 4:25 in the morning and so on. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten that feeling, where you almost feel like a small part of yourself is not quite aligned with the rest of your body and you’re kind of pulled out of yourself, but that is one ingredient. As the music plays, I just get this vibe that at some unimaginable time in a non-existent place, a group of people got together at an hour that nobody else on the planet is awake (never mind time zones and Earth’s rotation) and recorded this music that only 247 other people on the planet have heard, and now I’m the 248th. Then, while I listen to it and process that, I think to myself that none of it mattered, yet it still was created. Whether it was a good creation or bad, it didn’t matter, it just happened. Now I’ve been given this little capsule of time, bundled with energy, emotions and fragments of the persons’ lives who created it, and when the song finishes it, I will be one of the few people who is now carrying the small piece of life and culture— all the while the sun hides and the rest of the planet sleeps. About thirty minutes after I listen to anything like this at hours like this, the feelings finally completely fade and I feel like my being is again entirely one. Maybe nobody else has ever felt this but me, but I’m just throwing it out there. I’m repeating this song and feeling it right now.

It beats feeling completely empty.

I’m glad I wrote this.

The American Tragedy

I feel like Ernest P. Worrell lately, you know, like in Ernest Goes to Jail, when he has a mass influx of electricity pumped through his body and then all the electricity begins to surge through his body and zap everything he sets his eyes on. Instead of electricity, I’ve had a surge of emotion, dimmed emotions.

Before I go to sleep at night, I feel a lot of dread. Not because I don’t want to approach tomorrow or anything like that, I wake up and generally feel excited to be alive and given yet another day to experience whatever the world sends my way, but just a dread knowing that I’ll wake up tomorrow and be in this same sort of rut I’ve been stuck in for almost a year now. A directionless life, or at least no wind to take me where my sails are facing. It’s nice when you’re young to get some respite in such things. Like anyone else, I always looked forward to summer because it meant I could wake up whenever I wanted, play as many video games, spend as much time with my friends and do as much nothing as I could handle. It worked because I never got quite as much as I wanted, and there was an end to it. Now that I’m older, it doesn’t work because of those same two reasons.

I can’t force myself to wake up early because I have nothing to wake up to. I have a lot of goals and projects and I do a lot to work on them, but I have different subsets of goals set out. My real-world and adult goals have been the following (and in order): get back in school, get a job, move back to Nashville, complete my final semester and graduate and then likely move to LA with Ryan B. In the meantime, my big picture goals have been plentiful, such as get all the music work done on my documentary and fake rap duo I’m in, start filming other things, establish myself in other ways (such as in the competitive gaming community) and all sorts of other things. The big picture/abstract stuff has been all I’ve been able to do, but because I hit a roadblock in the actual tangible stuff, I feel myself rubberbanding in the other areas.

First off, let’s just ignore the fact that I did have a job and just randomly left. I don’t really care to talk about it. I don’t do things liks that without reason, or at least, I’ve never known myself to, but I also don’t do things for only one cause, unless completely deplorable, which is why I don’t really care to talk about it, because it was a culmination of things that struck me all at once, which led me to make the decision. It just wasn’t the right situation for me.

With that said, it is funny because now on this job hunt, I have broadened (or to say it bluntly, lowered my standards) my possible horizons so much that you’d think I’d consider my previous departure to be foolishness, but I don’t. Anyway, with that addressed, I’ll say that it plays a large part in the feelings I have to endure throughout the day and night. I think a lot of it boils down to what is really irking me lately; I hate to see my family in the position they are in these days.

I catch myself watching my dad, even just sitting at one of the computers in the house, typing some piece of work up, or maybe just kind of staring into the blankness of the screen as he collects what must a rare moment of rest and solace in what amounts to a microfraction of a day in his long, burdening life and just feel terrible. It isn’t that I pity him or imagine he hates his life or anything, I know he has more joy than he knows what to do with, but it just seems like the great American tragedy; to be put in this world with all these nice things the modern first world brings us then, at some point, ejected from the smooth sails of a hang glider and forced to free fall through the rest of life just trying to maintain what bit of life you know. He never had much, and his clutches were removed from that comfort for perhaps all of his life he can remember, but like practically every westerner, he had more than he could probably afford– at least when he was no longer to able to live only for himself. Now what stands is a 60 year old man, likely fatigued beyond my comprehension, everyday his body breaking down as the days pile on, and like the slower friend who tends to get lost his mind too follows and slowly catches in that regard. This process, irreversible, compresses and accelerates in the complete opposite manner of the first years of your existence — which seem to last forever. Instead of having any sort of rest to look forward to in his future, at any point in his life, he wakes up every morning to a greater burden to drag and seemingly bigger puzzles to complete, greater problems to solve and so on. Not just no rest; less rest.

I see my mom, the unstoppable force, doing what objects in motion do– always staying in motion. Always working, never resting. There is no throttle with that woman. She always goes at 110% until her body shuts down on her. While school is out, she doesn’t have her normal job, so they are trying to build up a business out of nowhere, not even on their own time like they wanted, but because they have no choice but to make something work. On her own, she runs her kitchen as if she had 10 people working it– this sometimes cramped, uncomfortably hot and claustrophobic space in what is already an oft cramped, uncomfortably hot house. The three of us who live here love each other dearly, but sometimes I think these walls aren’t big enough to fit the three of us, maybe you can call me a spoiled American, but I think I’m more of a victim to my culture than I am a propagator. Finally, as each day concludes, I get to witness her slowly break down until the power is completely sucked out; a 53 year old woman relegated to an inanimate crash test dummy, motionless and so worn out that you’d think what you are witnessing is something completely devoid of life. Then, perfectly parallel to the cycle of the day, she resurrects, slogs those weathered bones, worn tendons and rusted joints back to operation and goes full force again.

Then there is myself. The one who has to dread going to sleep because I will wake up again the next afternoon, apply to 3 to 7 more jobs, assured that it will lead to nothing, knowing I am the most capable person in the family– even more capable than most people in general, yet totally helpless. I think at some point in my life, I got lost and stumbled into a Twilight Zone episode where some supernatural force decided to take away my ability to influence the real world, but imprisoned me in it, so I could merely witness the long break down in nature and end of all things, watching those I love do what they can to hang out, yet unable to join them in the struggle.

I witness these things and feel it is tragic because I want to be able to help them. I know how much these people have done for me, as they continue to do so, yet I can’t find my own place in the equation. I’d be less miserable being miserable with those I love than I would be spoiled, knowing the others are miserable. In fact, I think I’d be happy. And that is just a piece of this emotional overload.

I will say, it is kind of a funny thing, because I feel these kind of things as if it were a continual numbness. You know it is there, you feel it, but nothing changes. I am still very happy throughout the day. I don’t feel really sad or down, or any sort of emotion that affects the present, I just feel them all juxtaposed at no cost to my demeanor or outlook on life, it is just that awkward looking passenger seat attached to my motorcycle.

To analyze it, I think I am mostly frustrated at everything. Things aren’t going how I’d want them to, or how I have been trying to get them to and that exposes other things. In this case, I think it almost exposes reality for what it is; I’m getting old, I’m grown up, I’m there, but society won’t let me join it. I now recognize my place and the sobering truth of my age and where I’ve already arrived at in life, where I’ve already left (youth), thus I now have to recognize that my parents have lived probably more life than they ever imagined possible. One day soon, I’ll be the 60 year old man. I won’t be freaking out because this arbitrary figure that is a big deal in my mind is now assigned to my father, but it is assigned to me. Perhaps in my lifetime, medical advances will allow me to have that same ‘all-your-blood-drops-to-your-feet’ freak out epiphany like that when I’m 120, who knows, but it is what it is. Actually, that is kind of odd to think about, I don’t think I’d care to live so long. Maybe it is because to us it just doesn’t seem natural, but I feel like even if science can make it possible for our bodies to function longer and longer, that doesn’t account for our mind’s. That’s so much more guilt, pain, joy, happiness, sorrow, exictement, disappointment, apathy and memories to have layered on top of each other.

More and more I believe that the greatest thing about youth is that your frame of reference is so direct. I have my best friends, the only family I’ve known for my life. The girl I loved or used to love. My first set of pets. My first this and first that, everything is just fresh. As it all goes on, all those things in the back stale and the newer ones have different impacts because the experience coupled with it. The significance of everything seems to fade. Did I love the girl I thought, for years, I was going to marry when I was just starting adulthood, but let go because I wasn’t in the right place in life as much as the girl I thought I was going to marry well into my adulthood, who left me? Did I love her, her or her in the same way? What did this best friend mean to me as opposed to this one? Ad infinitum.

I could probably go on and on with all of these thoughts and feelings, but I have already gotten very convoluted and frayed with it as it is, I think I will end it here.

As I toil away and struggle to get in a place where I actually feel that I have entered adulthood, in a societal manner, all these thoughts and feelings mount. Everything becomes so constricting. I’m bound and like I said, all I can do is just watch the life pass by until I can break free and put in the assembly line with everyone else. Damn, and to think all I really wanted to do was to make a little bit of money, go to the gym, eat three times and have a girl give me attention.

Too bad this life thing doesn’t get any easier. As long as I can find a way to make it easier for my parents, that’s all I need.

Selah